Runway 18-36 Grade Corrections and Overlay

Magnolia Municipal Airport (AGO), Magnolia, Arkansas

Magnolia Municipal (Ralph C Weiser Field) Airport is a general aviation facility located 3 miles southeast of Magnolia in Columbia County, Arkansas. The airport covers 272 acres and sees more than 10,000 aircraft operations annually.

Runway 18-36 is 5,000 feet in length and 100 feet in width. Its condition had deteriorated, with cracking pavement and grass popping through the runway. Surveys revealed significant portions of the existing runway had lateral grades that were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. 

To address these issues, Michael Baker performed the design for the asphalt overlay of Runway 18-36 and the associated Runway Safety Area Evaluation as required by the FAA. The team designed an approach that utilized a variable-depth grooved overlay to correct the grading issues and provide a consistent lateral grade to meet all FAA criteria.

Michael Baker also provided the bidding and construction administration/inspection services for the construction project, which was completed in 2022 under a separate grant. The construction cost was significantly less than the projected budget and, due to the American Rescue Act of 2021, the project was 100% funded by the FAA. The Michael Baker team worked to help secure this funding as part of its scope.  

The final project corrected all existing pavement grading deficiencies and constructed a new asphalt surface course on the runway.


“It’s long overdue… It will be safer for the pilots, and less maintenance. Upon completion, we’ll have new lights, AWOS [Automated Weather Observation System], and runway. We’re as new as we can get.”

Parnell Vann
Mayor of the City of Magnolia, Arkansas

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